BTL Newsletter Spring 2011 copyEverything seems fresher when springtime arrives. And that’s certainly true when it comes to food. We tend to eat heavier meals in the winter. But now’s the time to lighten up with fresh spring produce.

Local strawberries are nutritional treasures — plenty of fiber and packed with vitamin C. Add them to your breakfast; snack on them at night.

Radishes deliver a punch of crunchy flavor — and vitamin C, too — with not many calories. A great snack. (Did you know that Milwaukee bars often serve radishes — instead of peanuts or chips — with beer? Crunchy and good.)

Green beans give you fiber and vitamin K. You know them as a side dish. But you can also munch them raw (try them with a low-fat dip) for a guilt-free, healthy snack.

Asparagus is a great source of iron, B vitamins, and vitamin C. Although you may be able to buy asparagus year-round, it loses nutritional value fairly quickly. So locally grown, fresh from the garden or farm, is the way to go. Serve it roasted, grilled, or sautéed in a little olive oil.

Fresh spinach gives you fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, magnesium, and iron. Skip the iceberg lettuce and use spinach in your salads. Add some baby lettuce for extra flavor and sweetness.

BTL Newsletter Spring 2011 copySpring onions (scallions) are low in calories and high in potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. Bonus: they also help lower cholesterol. Add them to salads, or try them roasted on the grill.

New potatoes — roasted or boiled with their skins on — are packed with fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. A nice alternative to mashed potatoes.

Rhubarb — high in fiber and vitamin C, low in carbs — can be a welcome change from applesauce. Just cut it up, cook it in a little water until it’s soft, then sweeten to taste.